Southwest Tater Tot Casserole

Got married this weekend.

Made our wedding party the Chocolate Zucchini Bread in mini loaf pans from the previous post.

Huge hit.

Love him.swtatertotcasserole

Tots!!   It’s just one of those nights, no energy, but you don’t want your husband to cook, aka the ‘Drive-Thru’. It’ been a busy week and you want something hearty but don’t have a lot of spare time to get to fancy.  Do you also have 20 cans of Cream of _________ you need to get rid of, and you’re actually afraid at this point they will go bad because they’ve been in there for….years? I do.  Ooops. If Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom, Chicken, or Tomato for under 50 cents, I can’t not buy at least….5 🙂 It’s just something that happens, and I just now have the place to store the excess, where as before I didn’t.

There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, sort of. They’re all quick adds though, so don’t let the long list steer you away from making this. You can also cut out as much as you want, really the key ingredients are Cream of Chicken, Beef, TaterTots, and Cheese. From there you can add, remove, or substitute as you wish and it will still turn out great! Another thing I would recommend is spreading this out over a shallow dish. If you have the tater tots on a single layer instead of stacked it will be more visually appealing as well as less mushy.

*If you’re making this at home, it’s a great dish to include your kids with, you can’t mess up a casserole, and it’s fun for them to add ingredients, pour, and mix.

REHEAT~~ This will easily feed 4 people if not more, so if you’re like us and don’t finish even half of it, freeze it!! It warms up great if you take the time to put it in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Southwest Tater Tot Casserole

1lb of beef

1/2 onion, diced

1/4 cup or smallest can of tomato sauce you can find

1 can of cream of chicken

1/4 cup milk

1/2 can black beans

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 can of corn (use the rest of the cans of corn and beans for quesadillas or burritos the next day!)

3 cups of frozen tater tots

2 handfuls of your choice of yellow cheese

1 bag of mozzarella (or another white cheese)

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. With a tablespoon of oil in a pan, add your onions, let cook for about 3-4 minutes until they begin to become translucent. Once translucent remove onions and set aside.

3. In the same pan, brown the beef, drain and return to pan. Add the tomato sauce, the onions, corn, and black beans; heat now to low.

4. In a bowl add your milk and Cream of Chicken, whisk together. Then add your chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper. Whisk again until completely combined.

5. In a shallow dish, (I used an 8×10 casserole dish, or any shallow casserole dish), spread the hamburger mixture evenly. Then add your yellow cheese, just enough to cover the hamburger. (this will give you a nice but slightly cheesy middle).

6. Then over the hamburger pour over the soup mixture, then top with half of the mozzarella.

7. Finally add your layer of tater tots. I did just enough to cover the surface but not enough to double layer. Then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tots.

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the  mixture is bubbly. If you need to brown the cheese on top just a bit more and you’re bubbling, set your oven to broil for about a minute.

9. Top with parsleyswtatertotcasserole2

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